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Press Release Massachusetts Division of Insurance to Hold Information Sessions on Gender Affirming Healthcare Services

For immediate release:
10/05/2021
  • Division of Insurance
  • Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation

Media Contact for Massachusetts Division of Insurance to Hold Information Sessions on Gender Affirming Healthcare Services

Jackie Horigan

BostonToday, the Massachusetts Division of Insurance (Division) announced information sessions to be held this month to allow interested parties to engage with the Division regarding insurance coverage for medically necessary gender affirming healthcare services.

The Division last month issued Bulletin 2021-11 re-affirming that health insurance carriers in Massachusetts are prohibited from denying medically necessary treatment or categorically excluding coverage for such treatment based on an individual’s gender identity or gender dysphoria. This Bulletin updates a previous Division Bulletin issued in 2014 regarding gender identity non-discrimination requirements for individual and group health insurance policies. Input received at these sessions will assist the Division in drafting further regulatory guidance regarding prohibited discrimination within health coverage for insurance carriers operating in the Commonwealth.

“In Massachusetts, all consumers have a right to adequate and affordable health care. Massachusetts residents should be assured that insurance companies must continue to be compliant with the state’s antidiscrimination laws, including those requirements that no one can be denied health insurance or health care treatment based on sex or gender identity,” said Division of Insurance Commissioner Gary Anderson.

Massachusetts remains committed to ensuring that health insurers operating in Massachusetts equally offer health insurance coverage and benefits. In 2011, gender identity was added as a protected characteristic to state employment, housing, credit, and public education anti-discrimination laws and to state hate crimes laws. Bulletin 2014-03 further explains that Massachusetts law prohibits sex discrimination in various types of insurance. In 2018, a statewide referendum passed expanding protections against discrimination in places of public accommodations based on gender identity, including prohibiting discrimination in health care settings. Insurance companies are considered to be places of public accommodation under the law. Last year, a new law also became effective prohibiting discrimination or distinctions in disability policies based on sex, gender identity or sexual orientation. These recent updates to Massachusetts state laws, as well as previous federal actions attempting to strip residents of protections against discrimination, prompted the Division to update its regulatory guidance.

The Division has planned the following information sessions:

                             Friday, October 8 at 1:00 PM

                             Friday, October 22 at1:00 PM

                             Friday, November 5 1:00 PM (if needed)

Any Massachusetts resident who is interested in participating in an informational session may join via telephone by calling 1-857-327-9245 and use password 911150419# or join via computer or mobile app: Click here to join the meeting

Written comments can be submitted to kevin.beagan@mass.gov and Rebecca.butler@mass.gov.

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Media Contact for Massachusetts Division of Insurance to Hold Information Sessions on Gender Affirming Healthcare Services

Division of Insurance 

The primary mission of the Division of Insurance (DOI) is to monitor the solvency of its licensees in order to promote a healthy, responsive and willing marketplace for consumers who purchase insurance products. Protection of consumer interests is of prime importance to the Division and is safeguarded by providing accurate and unbiased information so consumers may make informed decisions and by intervening on behalf of consumers who believe they have been victimized by unfair business practices.

Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation 

The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation protects and empowers consumers through advocacy and education, and ensures a fair playing field for the Massachusetts businesses its agencies regulate.
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